Argument Schedule -- October, 2017


September Term, 2017


Thursday, October 5, 2017:

Bar Admissions

No. 19 State of Maryland v. Leonard Lee Simms

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Does the State have the authority to enter a nolle prosequi on a charge after a conviction? 2) If the State does have the authority to do so, was Respondent’s appeal moot because the State entered a nolle prosequi in the circuit court as to the entire case, without objection?

Attorney for Petitioner: Karinna M. Rossi
Attorney for Respondent: Rachel Simmonsen

No. 12 Shelia Davis et al. v. Frostburg Facility Operations, LLC d/b/a Frostburg Village

Issues – Torts – 1) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioner was required to file in the Md. Healthcare Alternative Dispute Resolution Office so that office could make the initial determination of whether Petitioner’s injuries were the result of ordinary negligence or medical negligence? 2) Did CSA err in holding that Petitioners’ complaint was not sufficient on its face to survive the granting of a motion to dismiss on the remaining counts?

Attorney for Petitioner: Justin N. Gregory
Attorneys for Respondent: Brittany L. Janowski and Ralph L. Arnsdorf

No. 10 Isa Manuel Santiago v. State of Maryland

Issues- Criminal Law – 1) Did CSA err in holding that the trial court properly admitted testimony from the State’s cellular communication expert when the expert admitted his opinion was based on a critical assumption the factual underpinning of which was not established and a report that was destroyed before trial? 2) Did CSA err in holding that the trial court properly admitted evidence of Petitioner’s silence during an investigation by his automobile insurer that was related to and concurrent with the police investigation in this case?

Attorney for Petitioner: Allison J. Rushing
Attorney for Respondent: Daniel Jawor


Friday, October 6, 2017:

AG No. 3 (2016 T.) Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Vernon Charles Donnelly

Attorney for Petitioner: Dolores O. Ridgell
Attorneys for Respondent: Walter W. Green and Carlton M. Green

No. 8 Young Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Dustin Construction, Inc.

Issues – Contract Law – 1) Did CSA err in holding that a “flow down” provision in the subcontract between the prime contractor and a subcontractor created a right for the subcontractor to sue the Owner? 2) Did CSA err in holding that the denial of Petitioner’s claim was a Final Decision to trigger the dispute resolution process in the general contract? 3) Did CSA err in not considering Respondent’s alleged breach of the subcontract by preventing the contractor from pursuing its claims through the Prime Contract, the Prevention Doctrine? 4) Did CSA err in relying upon a “pay-when-paid” provision in the subcontract that Respondent did not raise in its Motion for Summary Judgment and that neither party raised in argument before the trial court? 5) Did CSA err in upholding the trial court’s summary judgment prior to any discovery and factual determination regarding the cause of the delays to the project?

Attorney for Petitioner: Leonard A. Sacks
Attorney for Respondent: David B. Hamilton

No. 11 Curtis Maurice Lopez v. State of Maryland et al.

Issue – Criminal Procedure – Is a music video/slide show depicting the lives of the victims a permissible form of victim impact evidence, and does its admission violate a criminal defendant’s rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution?

Attorney for Petitioner: Brian L. Zavin
Attorneys for Respondent: Mary Ann Ince and Russell Butler


Tuesday, October 10, 2017:

No. 15 Maryland Office of People's Counsel et al. v. Maryland Public Service Commission et al.

Issues – Public Utilities – 1) Did the Public Service Commission make an error of law by failing to conclude that the premium that PHI’s shareholders received as a result of its acquisition by Exelon Corp. violated § 6-105 of the Public Utilities Article and the regulatory compact governing the obligations and rights of monopolistic utilities in that it harmed customers and was inconsistent with the public interest? 2) Does the Commission’s unexplained conclusion that allegations of harm to the distributed generation and renewable energy markets resulting from Exelon’s acquisition of PHI were “speculation” render the Commission’s decision to approve the acquisition arbitrary and capricious?

Attorneys for Petitioner: Joseph G. Cleaver and Susan S. Miller
Attorneys for Respondent: H. Robert Erwin, Jr. and David W. DeBruin

No. 14 Rudy Ismael Manchame-Guerra v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Procedure – 1) Did this Court’s decision in Peterson v. State, 444 Md. 105 (2015), alter the threshold a factual proffer must satisfy to permit questioning of a witness’s subjective expectation of a benefit under Md. Rule 5-616(a)(4)? 2) Did the trial court err in prohibiting defense counsel from questioning the State’s main witness about whether he subjectively expected a benefit in exchange for his statements and testimony in this case?

Attorney for Petitioner: Michael T. Torres
Attorney for Respondent: Daniel Jawor

No. 13 Lillian C. Blentlinger, LLC William L. Blentlinger, LLC v. Cleanwater Linganore, Inc. et al.

Issues – 1) Did CSA err by holding that a Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreement (“DRRA”), in order to be valid, must include “enhanced public benefits” to the local governing body? 2) Did CSA err by holding that Petitioners’ proffer of a school site did not constitute adequate consideration for the DRRA?

Attorney for Petitioner: Thomas E. Lynch
Attorney for Respondent: Michele M. Rosenfeld

AG Nos. 26 & 74 (2016 T.) Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Edward Smith, Jr.

Attorneys for Petitioner: Lydia E. Lawless and Jennifer L. Thompson
Attorneys for Respondent: Carrie A. Campbell and Landon M. White


Wednesday, October 11, 2017:

No. 9   Jerry Harris v. State of Maryland

Issues – Criminal Law – 1) Did the trial court abuse its discretion by issuing a missing witness instruction concerning Petitioner’s mother, without conducting any inquiry or making any findings as to whether they had a relationship that would have rendered her peculiarly available to the defense? 2) Is a mother/son relationship, without more, sufficient to establish that the mother is peculiarly available to the son for purposes of the missing witness rule? 3) Did CSA err in finding that the trial court committed harmless error when it allowed a detective to testify that Petitioner had invoked his right to an attorney during a police interview?

Attorney for Petitioner: Anne K. Olesen
Attorney for Respondent: Ryan R. Dietrich

No. 18 Waterman Family Limited Partnership et al. v. Kathleen B. Boomer et al.

Issues – Local Government – 1) May county commissioners rescind an express approval in accordance with Local Government Article (“LG”) § 4-416 to place newly annexed land in a zoning classification that allows a land use or density different from the land use or density specified in the zoning classification of the county or agency with planning and zoning jurisdiction over the land prior to its annexation? 2) May county commissioners rescind an express approval in accordance with LG § 4-416 allowing development of annexed land for land uses substantially different than the authorized use, or at a substantially higher density, not exceeding 50%, than could be granted for the proposed development, in accordance with the zoning classification of the county applicable at the time of the annexation?

Attorney for Petitioner: Joseph A. Stevens
Attorney for Respondent: Jesse B. Hammock

No. 16 James H. Ellis et al. v. Olin L. McKenzie et al.

Issues – Environmental Law – 1) Does the Dormant Mineral Interests Act (“DMIA”) violate Article 24 of the Md. Declaration of Rights and Article III, § of the Md. Constitution by retrospectively taking a vested property interest from a mineral owner and transferring it to a surface owner without compensation? 2) Is a notice of intent to preserve a severed mineral interest effective if recorded by the personal representative of a deceased owner’s estate while an action to terminate the interest is pending against the decedent’s descendants but not against the personal representative?

Attorney for Petitioner: James E. Walsh
Attorney for Respondent: Robert S. Paye


On the day of argument, counsel are instructed to register in the Clerk’s Office no later than 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise notified.

After October 11, 2017, the Court will recess until November 2, 2017.